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CSR and Sustainability, Measurement

How can business measure the impact – and ROI – of corporate sustainability?

This is one of those “Holy Grail” questions in business and society.

What do you say in that board meeting when that senior director asks “what kind of payback are we getting here?”.

The obvious answer is to say: “It’s about hanging on to what we’ve got – and turning innovative ideas into cost savings and new business opportunities”.

But that doesn’t cut the mustard that much, as we know.

So we’re putting together an two day, off-the-record conference (hey what else?) to tackle this issue properly.

Our brave speakers will be aware they only have some of the theory (immature and undervalued natural capital frameworks and largely unproven employee engagement technology that goes beyond questionnaires, anyone?) and only some of the answers, but it’s time we dig deeper, we’ve decided.

Our aim to get beyond conversations about how awfully important reputation is, and cover areas such as:

  • How to make your board take environmental and social impact analysis seriously
  • Establishing corporate impact measurement systems: Best practices and lessons learnt
  • Social impact assessments: Where are we today, and what counts as ‘good’?
  • Measuring employee engagement: How technology can help move beyond questionnaires and deliver actionable results
  • How is community impact and sentiment measurement evolving?
  • Measuring reputation: how methodologies and technologies are improving accuracy
  • Data collection and frequency: Which systems deliver?
  • Natural capital vs. Social license to operate: Can companies really value their ENTIRE footprint?
  • Supply chain: How are meaningful data flows improving from Tier one suppliers and below?
  • The supplier perspective: How should larger companies help smaller ones measure more efficiently, and provide meaningful data?
  • The Investor perspective: How are their expectations evolving, and how is social and environmental data factored into their investment decisions today?
  • Do NGOs and campaign groups even care about your data? The data points they find compelling
  • Are there metrics that enable data aggregation (water vs. carbon)
  • Internal and external communication: How do you explain all this to stakeholders, particularly consumers and customers

We can’t promise all the answers, but we WILL go deeper and wider than the usual debates, and focus on how companies can move beyond reputation and employee and stakeholder questionnaires and focus groups. It will be fun. We did it a couple of years ago, and if you want some of the notes from that event, just let me know.

To get involved in the conference as a speaker or attendee, contact:

Lea Vavrik, Project Director, Innovation Forum
T: +44 203 780 7435